Posted 21 December 2023
Going Green this Christmas
We all love the Christmas holidays! Whether it be spending time with family, giving gifts to loves ones, or the delicious festive treats. However, this time of year can be incredibly harmful to our planet. With all the lights, food and gifts this Christmas we will create 30% more waste than we do for the rest of this year, whilst also consuming 80% more food! This doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy the holidays, but there are changes we can all make to help make a difference this year.
Energy Saving Tips
We all know that the Christmas season can be an expensive one. One way that we can all save some money whilst also looking after the environment is through energy saving measures. In the UK, we use almost £66 million of electricity on Christmas Day alone, that is enough energy to light the Eiffel Tower for 50 years! Some very simple changes can save over £300 a year on our energy bills, for example:
- Upgrade Christmas lights to LEDs – this switch is likely to save you money and will give you 25x more hours of festive light to enjoy.
- Turn your heating down by 1 degree. For every degree the heating is turned down, you are predicted to save £80 a year.
- If you are cooking Christmas dinner, keep the lids on your pans! His saves 10% in energy use.
Waste less this Christmas
This year, the UK will waste 2 million turkeys, 75 million mince pies and will use 125,000 tonnes of plastic packaging for gifts. We have brought together some sustainable swaps that you could make this Christmas to make the festivities kinder to the planet:
- Wrapping paper: Most gift wrap is made of plastic and isn’t recyclable. Look for paper made from recycled materials (brown paper form the post office is a great option). You may also want to use old greetings cards for gift tags. Using paper tape also reduces the levels of plastic in our gift wrapping.
- Choose quality over quantity when selecting gifts. 41% of children’s presents are no longer used by the time March comes around. Here are some greener alternatives that will bring joy to the family and the planet:
- Tree planting
- Sponsor an endangered animal
- An experience voucher
- Tickets to the theatre or an event
- Membership to the Wildlife Trust or The National Trust
- Reusable coffee cup or water bottle
- Charity shops or online platforms such as Vinted, Ebay or Facebook Marketplace often have lots of amazing gifts available for a much lower price!
- The gift of a better future through a WWF membership
- On the topic of gifts, it is also a great idea to ask a loved one what they would like before buying, keeping receipts too so that nothing goes to waste. Over 50% of adults in the UK admit to receiving gifts they don’t want every single year.
- To avoid food waste, make a plan for the festive season to ensure that nothing goes to waste. BBC good food have excellent ideas for making the most out of our leftovers too!
- When looking at decorations, trying using what you already have, or if not browse the second-hand market before making a new purchase.
- If buying a plastic Christmas tree, make sure that you’re going to reuse it for at least 10 years. Otherwise, it would have been better to buy a living tree from a sustainable forest. If buying a real tree, make sure it’s FSC-certified. Be clear on how to dispose of your tree once the season is over.